MUNSTER | Calumet Council Boy Scouts of America saluted Times Media Co. Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. on Wednesday as 2013 Distinguished Citizen of the Year in his last public appearance before starting his new position with Berkshire Hathaway in Oklahoma.
Held at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts, the 21st annual award ceremony was led by the youths involved in Scouting “to show the world what we teach them and how well they’ve learned,” said T. Edward Page, president of Calumet Council.
During his invocation, Gary Diocese Bishop Dale Melczek said Masterson was being honored because “he so generously gave of his faith, intelligence, abilities ... and devotion to the common good.”
Page announced Calumet Council is awarding a new national Boy Scout Jamboree scholarship named for Masterson.
Times Executive Editor Bill Nangle introduced Masterson as “a true leader and an inspiration to me and many of you in this room.”
Leadership for Masterson is about “action, that you have to do something,” Nangle said. “Bill has made an imprint on Northwest Indiana in such a short time.”
Since coming to Northwest Indiana nearly seven years ago, Masterson has been active with efforts to unite a diverse region, Nangle said.
Among Masterson’s many community accomplishments is the Tolleston Project to turn the former Gary high school into a Boys & Girls Club. He has helped to raise $5 million toward that project, Nangle said.
Masterson also created One Region, One Vision, which has brought leaders of the many and varied interests in the area together.
In accepting the award, Masterson said he was humbled.
“My challenge to you is to get involved with our youth,” Masterson said. “They need you.”